Wristwatches are an emotion. But, finding the one you want with so many brands and designs around really gets tough. Arun Marc D’Silva and Jayanti Varma have made our lives easy with Swiss Watch Company. Swisswatchcompany.in was launched in the year 2020 to bridge the gap between online and physical purchasing experiences. The platform provides a one-of-a-kind personalized watch buying experience, with an unrivaled range of hand-picked timepieces with distinctive designs and styles. The balcony Stories got an opportunity to speak to the two charming people, and below are the excerpts.
When and how did you come up with the concept of an online boutique store?
We felt the need for this during the pandemic and took steps to create this unique online experience.
What were some of the challenges you’ve had to face to launch the online store? What has been the response been so far?
Creating an online store is the easy part. The challenges are getting people to visit and giving them a great experience when they visit. Brands are also looking to associate with an excellent online store, and therefore international standards must be presented.
Pandemic impacted most businesses worldwide, being in the luxury watch segment, and how did you overcome the challenges?
The most significant challenge to deal with is to believe in oneself and the concept one is building. The next is to convince brands to trust you with their brand name. And finally, to create an environment that lives up to what one has promised.
The Swiss Watch Company is an exclusive boutique online store with unique Swiss watch brands; what was your thought behind bringing such a platform?
The concept is to have the only uniquely online boutique dedicated to discerning Indian buyers a reliable online store for authentic and genuine Swiss watches and the most competent Repair and Service center in the country.
How do you choose the Swiss watch brands? What are the criteria and protocols to choose specific Swiss watch brands?
We look for brands that are unique in their design, concept, and manufacturing processes. For example, Switzerland has many small family businesses that make exquisite watches but cannot reach outside Switzerland or Europe. We look for such brands, meet the owners and build a relationship with them. We Then invite them to experience our website, and we gradually expose them and the brand to the Indian consumers.
Do you feel young consumers still want watches? How do you want to target the younger audience?
The smart devices offered by companies like Apple and Samsung are doing an excellent service for the classical wristwatch manufacturers. Young people who would normally not wear a watch have started wearing these devices. This is the first step. After that, some of these people feel the need to replace those devices with genuine watches. That’s when they look for an option, and that’s when we need to offer them something unique. Some of the Swiss watch brands make intelligent watches as well, so the transition is smooth.
How do you plan to build awareness for the affordable Swiss Watches in India?
We use influencers, promoters, affiliations with other brands, advertising on Facebook and Insta. In addition, we have a strong PR strategy to work closely with online portals like The Balcony Stories and the online versions of most publications that we use for print PR.
What do brands need to do to operate and succeed in this new normal? For example, can conversational AI (chatbots and voice-driven AI) replace the human touch and feel of shopping in a physical store?
Replacing touch and feel would be complex, but numerous software solutions exist to simulate look and concept. In addition, return policies are flexible, so consumers are not hesitant to order and return.
What is the trend you see in the Indian watch market?
A definite increase in online shopping. An actual need for unique products and a very high expectation from service providers for a world-class experience.